Moonstruck Farms

  (Phelan, California)
Moonstruck Farms CSA
[ Member listing ]

Grant Study Begins Soon

Moonstruck Farms is a small beginning farm here in the high desert...we are considered a market gardening operation, and one of few who applied for the Know your Farmer Know Your Food High Tunnel initiative last year, and a lucky one who was accepted.  As soon as we have the other end of the greenhouse complete we will be calling for inspection and upon approval we will receive partial funding for the completed high tunnel or greenhouse...we will then complete a three year study.

The 3-year, 38-state study will verify if high tunnels are effective in reducing pesticide use (we only use OMRI approved substanced and only as a last resort), keeping vital nutrients in the soil, extending the growing season, increasing yields, and providing other benefits to growers.

So here goes...visit us on Facebook to see the photos!!

 
 

Greenhouse covered!!

Busy day today...started with Tri Community Market...always love seeing my customers and swapping recipe ideas and hearing about their cooking adventures with our products.  Today I was in a hurry to leave though...picked up some pine needles from a great customer and then ran home.  I was right..it was not windy...and my sixth sense said cover that greenhouse now!!  Weather change is coming, and that means winds at least the day before and then for how long who knows so Michael, myself and my daughter Sierra took off to get started.  Michael and I then rolled out the plastic, and then proceeded to crawl under the rolled out plastic hooking in the one side of wiggle wire, took a break to pick up my youngest and more help and then Ann and Tom arrived just in time to help us do the most difficult part of pulling 110 feet of 32 foot wide heavy polyethylene over the ridge of the greenhouse.  More wiggle wire and we were done..tomorrow we finish one end, frame part of the other and order the vinyl curtain in the size we determine will be best-suited, but that won't stop me from planting...more Moonstruck salad mix, bok choy, sprouting broccoli and thinking of adding endive, and definitely snow peas!!  Anything you can think of let me know.  Moonstruck signing off.

King of the Hill, whoops I mean Queen of the Hill

Little Dipper and Honey (my two Nigerian Dwarf Goats) were busy playing King, whoops, I mean Queen of the Hill as I went by with the camera.  We bought them with the intentions of breeding and having goats milk around to make great cheese and ice cream!! Unfortunately due to the farm taking up so much time I have not been able to get them bred so they are just home entertainment now, but smiles are easy to come by with them around.  Though I must admit they do add some headaches when they are running the property and eating all my rose bushes or nibbling on my husband's ear while he is working underneath the car...Honey really likes my husband :).   We chose Nigerians because their milk is naturally homogenized thus it has higher butterfat hopefully creating great ice cream!! Nigerians produce approximately 2 quarts of milk a day versus a Nubian (popular milking goat) who produces 3 quarts a day, but they are smaller and more manageable.  My daughter and I are not big people so Nigerians were a good choice for us not to mention they are just plain cute!! Little Dipper was named by my husband because he said she looks like an Oreo dipped in milk!! Long day today...great day at Tri Community Certified Market in Wrightwood, and then home to work on the greenhouse, and my sixth sense said "Cover it!!".  It was not windy and I had a feeling with the weather forecasted for Sunday we were really going to start blowing...so we went for it...just Michael, me and my daughter Sierra to begin with.  I picked up Meghan at school and called Ann and her and Tom headed over just in time to help pull it over the hump. Thanks everyone...it is covered....need to finish the ends.  One end will be finished tomorrow and the other will take a little while...going to order a vinyl curtain to finish it....but I can start planting tomorrow so off to bed I go.  Let me know of anything new you would like to see at market or on on the CSA online ordering.  Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

What a great community!

Today was a long, but a very gratifying day.  I started the day with checking the emails...there were more orders...late, but I can never deny a customer if there is any way I can meet the order.  One of the orders was for Cornish Game Hens and I knew Tom had wanted to come and see the greenhouse frame so i asked him to bring me some Cornish Game Hens from the Bashaws to fill the order.  I had just finished processing the orders, and cleaning and sterilzing the kitchen when Tom arrived and I spent a little time showing him the new 20 x 100 frame and talking gardening and animals.  He has a lot of experience and I really enjoy his company.  I then proceeded to do the harvest, fill the orders and load up for delivery.  At our delivery point "News Plus" came by,took pictures, notes for an article and asked if I would write a feature article for him...I said YES...how could i pass up an opportunity to support our agricultural community...I can now let everyone know what is coming up in season...events...etc.  If you are from the Tri Community Area and know of anything agricultural-related, 4H events etc. please let us know so we can add it to the feature each month.  I then did the appropriate kid drop offs, checked in on karate class and ran off to a Kiwanis meeting.  They called last night and asked if I could be the "Speaker" of the night, and I was honored to be asked so off I went.  They are a wonderful group of people doing everything they can to make our little neck in the world a better place...thank you Kiwanis and thank you Don Fish from News Plus for making our little community such a great place to live.  Off to bed and hopefully will dream about a great feature article...definitely what is in season now...most are out of touch with the seasons...time we leant a hand...kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach,lettuce, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, green onions and even radishes and beets if you have some cover.  Moonstruck signing off.  
 
 

60 pound turkeys!!

Today was a day I never did imagine, but it was a hoot!! A friend at church had an unfortunate accident just before Thanksgiving and was unable to process her turkeys.  She finally had a chance to get them to us today and we processed them.  She dropped them off and I looked at them and said "Ann those are not going to fit in the cones!!".  Sam was at work, and we had some help inside with Tony and Tom, but it was just her and me outside....hmmm...well we processed the hens and that was not bad...I have done 30 plus pounders before...but then the Toms....well without going into detail let's just say it was very interesting and from our perspective absolutely hilarious!!  We were laughing so hard that when it came to lifting the approx. 60 pound Toms up into the semi where the processing equipment is located we could barely do it...mainly because we were laughing so hard...Tony said "Stop laughing, you are losing all your strength".... so we laughed harder and 10 minutes later the 1st turkey was up there, and then #2.  After that Tom threw the first two in the plucker like normal and stopped it dead!!!  After switching the breaker we decided to do only ONE at a time.  After it was all done we ended up with four beautiful turkeys....two that will have to go to pits for cooking or be cut in HALF!  After such an eventful day I spent a little time with Quickbooks and found that I can send my invoices via Quickbooks email and do the accounting at the same time.  These are the dry and boring lessons, but these are important steps in building the farm too...I really need to streamline the "business" part so I can spend more time outside doing what I need to do!  Tomorrow is CSA Drop Point alias Phelan Farmers Faire...off to bed I go.  Moonstruck Signing off.
 
 

Loving this weather!!

There are some days you just feel like you have a new wind in your sails, and today one was one of them.  I finished putting the last couple hundred onions in....can't wait for those Spring onions!!  I squeezed in beets and radishes in between, and even put in a few rows of Tango, Oakleaf and Salad Bowl lettuce, and of course a few more rows of Arugula.  I am putting this all in outside, and of course the weather is beautiful, but we all know this will change.  With a blessing from the Lord the new greenhouse will be covered this weekend and give some of this shelter, but a lot of it is not under shelter.  The beets and radishes will fair through all but the deepest of freezes.  The onions, shallots and garlic are fine, and the lettuce will be damaged and replaced if necessary.   I am what is called a Market Gardener or simply a growing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  My goal is to meet my customer's produce requirements year round within reason of course....no I will not have tomatoes this month, but I do plan on growing plenty for next year that you can freeze. My dream is to be a smaller version of a great farm called Essex Farms.  They provide meat, fruit and produce to their customers, and guess what if there are a ton of tomatoes left in the fields that they did not have time to get or were too ripe...you come and get them...same with corn and other vegetables...perfect for those that want to can or freeze...I think that is just so awesome!!  Look for new pictures on Facebook or on the blog at www.moonstruckfarms.blogspot.com.
 
 

Why we do what we do?

Moonstruck Farms is a very small farm with big dreams.  It is so exciting to watch each little piece of the puzzle develop.  Farming is not an easy profession and that is why you see most of the food being produced by corporations now.  I am fortunate enough that my husband  pays the majority of the bills with me doing a few medical transcription lines to help out, and then I spend the rest of my day raising my daughters and slowly build the farm up to our dreams. Our goal is to bring farm fresh produce to a community in great need not only boosting our community's health, but the econoomy at the same time.  We have come to absolutely adore all the good people in our little neck of the woods here in Phelan and are so blessed to be surrounded by them and their loving support.  Our neighbors along with many from church and customers are on standby to help cover the new 20 x 100 greenhouse; that is a big piece of polyethylene!!! Our immediate neighbor welded a piece of the corrals that needed mending. The other neighbor allowed us to use his tractor to grade more around the corrals.  We could not do this without the love and support of so many.  Thank you Danny and Cody for helping me clear and most of all helping Mike lift those big panels on the stable end of the corrals!! Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

Always something throwing a curve ball your way

The day started with a good cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal.  Michael went outside to start on greenhouse while i worked in the kitchen for a while.  He was able to attach all the channel, but there was not enough screws to put them 12" on center per the instructions, and we need a little more wiggle wire to finish the ends so back to the supplier we go....maybe next week.  In the meantime we had to agree on how to finish the ends...vinyl curtain is what we decided on.  They make them out of the same material the greenhouse is covered with, but with a nice 5 inch hem on it.  We are going to make them approximately 8 x 8 so that the entire end can be essentially opened in warm weather, and we will need to add a ventilation fan this summer.  This is a new design for us and only single layer poly versus the double inflated on the existing 20 x 40, but since it is is so big heat is a real concern, and the single layer will take 10 degrees off in comparison to the other greenhouse.  Well now we will have one of each and get to decide how the three in the future will be constructed.  Tomorrow the corrals are going up...good thing Danny and Cody are coming over...some of those panels are way too heavy for even Michael and chicken arms here...thats me!!  A customer came by to pick up a large egg order and I was greeted by her driving in with two beautiful young ladies waving at me and them jumping out of the car and giving me great big hugs!! What a sweet surprise...the girls have seen me at market only two times before.  We let them feed the chickens and Little Dipper (Nigerian who looks like an Oreo cookie dipped in milk), and showed them our construction zone....I must admit the day started off rough and disappointing and then they reminded me why I really do what I do....and the day ended with a smile on face and an image of two pretty smiling faces and a cute baby sister too...three girls like mine...very cool!  Early start tomorrow...Moonstruck signing off.
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Great day!!

Today's hit was baby bok choy and I don't blame the customers...it is the first thing I reach for when I stir fry and being busy as a I am we stir fry a lot!!  Nothing easier than grabbing a little chicken and whatever vegies are in the greenhouse and throwing it all together with some brown rice.  Moonstruck Salad Mix is a little more on the mesclun side nowadays with Mizuna and Broad Leaf Mustard and Arugula!!  Of course the mainstays for the mix are a variety of green and red baby lettuces, baby Swiss Chard, Baby Beet leaves, Bulls Blood is my favorite, a beautiful deep color and whatever else is doing well in the greenhouse that week.  One customers mixes two bags of the mix with two heads of Romaine (Experiment 1 in our hydroponics is Romaine) and makes a great salad bowl for lunches for the week...great idea.  Baby Kale Mix has been a nice new surprise along with celery...go figure celery in the desert :)  I underestimated my customers desire for spice in their life and did not plant enough Spinach Mustard Greens (sold out through preorders).  Eggs are coming in more and more everyday...yahoo!!  Quiche here we come!! Pork shares are put off by a few weeks...Sam is not happy with the weights...wants to make sure the customers get plenty of pounds for their share.  A few shares of beef left and lamb is on its way!! Chicken legs are going quickly now since wings are sold out...nice meaty alternative for Super Bowl Sunday...maybe we will start a new tradition.  Off to bed....early start to pick up the plastic before the Cajon gets shut down to one lane...so much to do this weekend but so exciting...lots and lots of Moonstruck Salad Mix coming up!!! Moonstruck Signing off!!

 
 

Yahoo polyethylene is here!!

Woke up to another beautiful day!! Watched my teenage daughter walk to the gate with every last chicken following her (left the coop door open last night so they were happy to come out with the sun).  She does not really like the chickens so it started my day with a laugh since she had that typical teenage look of disgust on her face and it became better when the carpool mother yelled out "looks like the chickens like you!!".  I love my daughter....but she is in "prime teenage times" if you know what I mean, but then again my youngest loves the farm and made my day yesterday as she came running down into the ravine to check us out unloading the new corral equipment wearing her rubber boots, overalls and pigtails...so adorable...I don't want that one to grow up...but no one wants the youngest to ever grow up!!  My eldest ended the day by coming up to me and snuggling into the back of my neck after her long day of work...wow life is good!!!  My children have been the joy of my life, but the farm is my passion and the polyethylene is here....and now it is time to get to work!!! One 20 x 100 greenhouse to be covered and put into production...pray for little or no wind!!  Danny and Cody are coming over (great young men with strong backs) to help clear the field and prepare for planting this weekend while Mike installs the wiggle wire assembly!! In the meantime I am fielding calls for Super Bowl chicken wings...sorry all are sold out...even the ones that are still growing!!  Then tonight dear friends and customers said "well chicken legs it is!" and so I looked up all over the web....sure enough there is going to be a shortage across the country, but the good news is you can use legs and thighs in the same recipes, but you will want to marinade longer...maybe we are starting a new tradition!!  Moonstruck signing off. 
 
 

Gorgeous weather!

I am sure everyone here in So Ca is talking about the same thing...the warm weather!!  We hit the 70s here and it felt like 100 because we just came out of the 30-40s. I worked in the greenhouse until noon yesterday and I gained the extra bonus of a facial...by noon it felt like more like a sauna than a greenhouse, but I don't dare open up the ventilation at the ends because we know this beautiful weather is not going to last...we always get a nice beautiful week in January.  This is usually the week I prune the roses and the fruit trees...roses were already done and I need to do the fruit trees, but we spent the day taking apart and hauling over to the farm a 24x48 corral and stable.  Thank you Mike...dear friend of ours....I changed his son's diapers years ago...he is now 14 and was thrilled today when I told his teenage friend I used to change his diapers :). Caling it a night...have to set up irrigation for the new field tomorrow...way too much to hand water!! Moonstruck signing off.

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Thank you for your support!

A family came to the farm today from the city....they were lost  parked on the corner of my property with me and the chickens waving at them trying to get their attention. I was so self-conscious because my place is more of a construction zone than a farm nowadays....but then I thought about all my experiences with other farmers I have had lately...many desperate to make ends meet that they are stretching the truth about their "organic" feed....and stretching the truth about their abilities. I was self-conscious about my construction zone and mess, but then again I thought....this is me...this is real...and it is such a peaceful feeling knowing that I can say "this is me...this is the real deal...please bear with our growing pains and thank you so much for your support...you are my dreams...only my customers can continue to keep my energy up, my dreams alive in order to help me make all this come true!!!"  This is from my heart...many will say I am a sappy dreamer....I say "I am the American Dream...I am a farmer at heart and always will be".  Thank you for your loyal support, and with that support you will continue to energize me to do the right thing as I do everyday now thanks to you....300 green onions, a compost pile turned, some tilling, a farm tour, beef box information/orders taken, 200 Daikon radishes, French Breakfast and Cherry Belle Radishes in, chicken feed bins mixed with flax seed and diacematous earth and my favorite end to a day....Mass on a Saturday evening to thank the Lord for all my blessings and of course a prayer for my many wonderful customers!! Moonstruck signing off!!
 
 

Forgot...meat drop in Inland Empire?

I almost forgot.  Thanks to Local Harvest we have been receiving a lot of contacts from our neighbors just down the hill in the Inland Empire.  Most of the inquiries are for meat since they already have some great produce CSAs down the hill.  I have been asked numerous times if I would consider a drop....well I am seriously considering a once a month maybe twice a month, but I need your help.  I need to make it worth my time...at least to pay for the gas.  Start talking guys...if enough of you contact me and want to purchase poultry, beef shares coming up immediately or future pork shares we will make it work.  Once again thank you for tuning in and supporting all of us farmers with Moonstruck Farms CSA.  Moonstruck signing off....farm is open at 8 a.m!!
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Boy are chickens funny looking!!

Okay, now I can breath, two markets in two days and I am always wound up and exhausted at the end so I pulled in the driveway to see all 100 chickens running to a bush where "One" had found something good to eat?  Then all of a sudden all 100 were running for the coop.... an Air Force jet flew over...they ran for the coop like a coyote was on their tail...have you ever seen a chicken run...need a really good laugh...watch a chicken run!!!  Nothing better than chicken TV!!  Market was another learning adventure...Cornish Game Hens sold out...baby Mustard/Kale Mix and Baby Mustard Mix sold out.  I put them in $1.00 bags and a few ate them before they left the market...go figure???  But then again the reason I bagged them up was because I was snacking on them in the greenhouse and decided they were so tender and tasty I should bag some up?  Lots of discussions at market about making proscuitto and chicken stock and how one customer made five meals out a 5 pound chicken for two people!!! I love our discussions!!!  Wow, you guys are changing our world for the better...better eating...better economy...less gas consumption..win.win.win!!!  You go guys!! Moonstruck signing out!

 
 

Temps up just a little!!

I feel like I have ants in my pants.  No plastic yet for greenhouse, temperatures are still so low that even the current greenhouse is slow, and I should probably have Agribon cover over it to get things sped up, but I keep saying to myself "work on the rows in the new greenhouse, the plastic will be here any day and you need to be ready to just throw transplants in!"  If I had nails I would have bitten them all off by now....ugh....I need more produce....major growing pains and these are painful.  Unfortunately it is also the nature of the business...Mother Nature rules.  Speaking of....I noticed that some of the dormant Winterbor kale had been eaten up quite a bit...found a hole...stuck a hose in it...watch for 5 minutes...did not fill up...went inside rolled out some rolls for dinner and put in to rise....collected eggs...hole still not filling up...did 10 more minutes of work....checked again and the water was just starting to percolate up through the soil 50 feet away in the new crop area!!!!  Ugh!!  I hope I got him!!! Gopher...squirrel...who knows, but I put the handy dandy Squirrelinator out to see if it was squirrel.  Tomorrow off to market...hope to see some of you...especially the new voices I have been hearing...Moonstruck signing off!
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